Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 20 (ANI): In response to Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balaseheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut's claim that Maharashtra Legislative Council member Chandrashekhar Bawankule was gambling at Macau on Sunday night, Bawankule shared a photo of the hotel complex where he stayed with his family saying that it has a restaurant and a casino on the ground floor.
"This is the area of the hotel where I stayed with my family in Macau. The hotel has a restaurant and casino on the ground floor! This is a photo someone took while I was sitting in a restaurant with my family after dinner," Bawankule said in a post on 'X'Reacting to this, Sanjay Raut went on to ask if a Chinese family is sitting beside them as seen in the picture shared by him and why is he seen sitting at a casino when he claims to be sitting at a restaurant.
Speaking to reporters after the episode raised a political storm in Maharashtra, Raut said that he was not sure who the person was but someone showed the photo to him about a prominent personality from Maharashtra sitting at a Veneshine casino in Macau.
"I don't know whose photo is that. Someone told me that he is a prominent personality from Maharashtra and is in Macau at a casino Veneshine," Raut said speaking to reporters on Monday.
Raut said that when he got to know that the individual had spent Rs 3.5 crore in two to four hours, he thought that it seemed that "achhe din" (good days) had come to Maharashtra all of a sudden.
"Within a span of 2-4 hours, he spent Rs 3.5 crores at a casino. It means there is 'achhe din' in Maharashtra suddenly. BJP says that he is their member, we didn't say it," Raut said.
"Achhe din" was the Bharatiya Janta Party's campaign message during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The Shiv Sena leader clarified that when the BJP said that the person in the photo he posted was one of their leaders, he went ahead and asked if a Chinese family was seated with them.
"So I asked if his family is Chinese. I don't want to meddle in people's personal lives. People do go to Bangkok, Switzerland. What is there to hide?" he said.
Raut said that being a responsible person going to a casino and spending crores when the economic condition of Maharashtra is "serious" is not right.
"But what is the condition of Maharashtra? It is serious. We are responsible people. Going to a casino and spending crores of Rupees. Is that right?" he said.
Raut also compared Bawankule with Abdul Karim Telgi, whose character was recently portrayed in a TV series 'Scam 2003'"I have heard of Telgi scam in which the person spent a crore in a bar in one night," he said.
Raut clarified that he has no intention of tarnishing Bawankule's family and that is not Balasaheb Thackeray's culture.
"I dont want to tarnish the family. I did not say anything. Since you said that he went there with his family, I asked if a Chinese family was sitting beside them. He said that he was sitting at a restaurant. I am seeing him seated at a casino. I have not said anything about your personal life. This is not Balasaheb Thackeray's culture. But you have started it and we will end it," the Shiv Sena leader said. (ANI)